Xbox Head Phil Spencer is “disappointed” about Redfall’s launch

by Danny Craig  · 
Xbox Head Phil Spencer is “disappointed” about Redfall’s launch

The Head of Xbox and CEO of Xbox Game Studios, Phil Spencer, has apologized for the current state of Arkane’s Redfall and said that he is "upset" at the situation.

The details:

  • Spencer appeared as a guest on a new episode of the Kinda Funny Xcast to discuss the recent events surrounding the ongoing attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard, as well as the disastrous launch of Redfall. "[There's] nothing that’s more difficult for me than disappointing the Xbox community," Spencer admitted. "Just to watch the community lose confidence and be disappointed, I'm disappointed. I'm upset with myself."
  • Redfall found itself in a difficult situation several times before launch, with concerns that an in-game shop would be present, then with news that this was incorrect but that an always-online requirement would be imposed on players. The game's final setback was that it would launch without 60 frames per second mode on consoles, which would be added later. Spencer addressed the situation, saying that having to make the announcement was a "punch in the chin."
  • The game's review scores could be better too, with most hovering between 50 and 60 due to technical issues, poor AI, and other unwelcome design choices. Spencer stated that the game's reception had been "disappointing," but that the company will at times "build games that review in the high 80s and build games that review in the 60s," which he describes as "part of being in game publishing.”
  • Regardless of the game's current state, Spencer confirmed that Arkane is not only listening to community feedback but is also actively working on adding a 60 FPS mode and will continue to work on the game in the future. He cited Rare's Sea of Thieves and Obsidian's Grounded as examples of the company's previous commitments to updating its titles, so Redfall will likely receive some quality-of-life improvements and new content in future patches.
  • Finally, Spencer partially blamed the state of the end product on how Xbox integrated Arkane into its collection of studios after acquiring ZeniMax, saying that it "didn't do a good job early on in engaging with Arkane Austin to help them understand what it meant to be part of Xbox." He went on to say that the company instead "left them to go work on the game" and that it "should have been there" for the studio earlier as Microsoft owns several studios with Unreal Engine experience that could have assisted with development issues.

More Microsoft/Xbox news:

  • According to a final report from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Microsoft reportedly attempted to acquire an unnamed mobile publisher before Activision Blizzard. Some speculate that the publisher in question was Zynga before Take-Two Interactive purchased the Words With Friends publisher.
  • Tango Gameworks' next game may include some form of multiplayer. A recent job posting at the studio mentions that it is looking for someone with experience in multiplayer games, but does not specify for what. Given the developer's track record of experimenting with genres, from The Evil Within to Ghostwire: Tokyo to Hi-Fi Rush, it could be anything from an additional mode to a small side component.
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